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Self-Determination Assessments

AIR Self-Determination

The American Institutes for Research (AIR), in collaboration with Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City, developed the student, parent, and educator  versions of the AIR Self-Determination Assessments with funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. The AIR Self-Determination scale:

  • produces a profile of the student's level of self-determination
  • identifies areas of strength and areas needing improvement
  • identifies specific educational goals that can be incorporated into the student's IEP

The AIR Assessments measure two broad self-determination components. Capacity refers to the student's knowledge, abilities, and perceptions that enable them to be self-determined. Opportunity refers to the student's chances to use their knowledge and abilities.

The AIR Self-Determination Assessments are available for you to use, free of charge (see below for permission letter). Download the manual and each scale by clicking on the links below.

For help witih scoring and interpreting the AIR:

Dr. Dennis Mithaug of Teachers College, Columbia University, provided permission (Mithaug Permission (.pdf)) to make the AIR Self-Determination Assessments and User Guide available for no charge. Dr. Susan Palmer from the University of Kansas and OU Zarrow Center staff worked together to place the AIR assessment tools on this web page.

ARC Self-Determination Scale

Dr. Michael Wehmeyer and his colleagues developed and normed the ARC Self-Determination Scale to: (a) assess the self-determination strengths and weaknesses of adolescents with disabilities, (b) facilitate student involvement in educational planning and instruction to promote self-determination as an educational outcome, (c) develop self-determination goals and objectives, and (d) assess student self-determination skills for research purposes.

After students complete the assessment, the ARC Scale yields a total self-determination and four sub-domain scores.

  • Autonomy
  • Self-Regulation
  • Psychological Empowerment
  • Self-Realization
  • Total Self-Determination

The Scale administrator will need to use the ARC Procedural Guidelines to convert raw scores into norm sample percentile scores and the percentage of positive responses. The ARC Self-Determination Scale is available for you to use, free of charge (see below for permission letter). Download the Procedural Guidelines manual and ARC Scale by clicking on the links below.

For help scoring and interpreting the ARC:

Dr. Michael Wehmeyer of the University of Kansas, provided permission (ARC Permission Letter (.doc)) to make the ARC Self-Determination Scale available for no charge. Users may download and use The ARC's Self-Determination Scale without further permission. Users may not modify the scale or redistribute the scale without additional permission from the copyright holder (Michael Wehmeyer).

ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Assessment

The ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Assessment is a curriculum-referenced tool that measures students' self-determination skills and progress in the ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Curriculum. Educators use the ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Assessment to assess middle and high school students' with mild to moderate disabilities self-determination skills and opportunities at school to exercise these skills across three areas: (a) choosing educational, vocational, and personal goals, (b) students' involvement in their IEP meetings, and (c) students' attainment of IEP goals, including developing a plan, implementing the plan, self-evaluation of plan progress, and adjusting any of the plan parts.

The ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Assessment requires educators to complete a 5-point Likert scale response for each of the 62 items across the student skills and opportunities at school sections. The raw scores for each of the choosing goals, IEP involvement, and goal attainment domains are tabulated, graphed, and compared to the total points available to find the percent positive for each domain. Using a ChoiceMaker Curriculum goal and objective matrix, educators circle each assessment item with a score of 0, 1, or 2 to develop a pool of potential instructional goals and objectives.

The ChoiceMaker has been validated using over 300 students with learning disabilities, mental retardation, and behavior problems from four states. A test-retest study suggests the reliability of the assessment results across time. 

Of the available self-determination assessments, the ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Assessment is the only curriculum-referenced assessment.

ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Assessment (.pdf)


The TAGG is a new on-line transition assessment for secondary-aged youth with disabilities, their families, and professionals. TAGG items derive from research identified student behaviors associated with post high school employment and education. The TAGG provides a norm-based graphic profile, present level of performance statement, lists of strengths and needs, and suggested IEP annual transition goals. Numerous studies demonstrated that the TAGG produces valid and reliable results. A grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education's National Center for Special Education Research supported TAGG development.